difference between csgo and cs2 difference between csgo and cs2

Difference Between CSGO and CS2

It has been over a decade since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive launched. And after all that time, we finally have a video game that replaced it, Counter-Strike 2. According to what Valve, the game’s developer, is claiming, Counter-Strike 2 is the largest technical leap forward for the entire Counter-Strike series. But is there any truth to that?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to uncover. In this article, we’ll look at all the key differences between CSGO and CS2. To ensure everyone stays on track regarding CS2 vs CSGO, we’ll be going over the tiniest of details that you and many other players might have missed.

New Volumetric and Reactive Smokes (Enhanced Smoke Grenades)

First up, and probably the most notable change the entire community has been on about, is the enhanced smoke grenades. Unlike smoke grenades from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which were just static balls of cloud, the ones in CS2 interact with the environment in a much more realistic way.

For instance, upon explosion, a smoke grenade in CS2 will fill the shapes of the space and other objects within the nearby environment, just as it would in real life. You can also carve through a smoke cloud by shooting at it, creating tracers from which you can see on the other side.

However, once you stop shooting, the smoke will fill those tracers again until it eventually fades away. How explosions of a regular frag grenade interact with smoke is even more impressive, clearing it entirely for a second or two until it fills the space back up.

Grenade Camera

The Grenade Camera is one of the most game-changing features introduced in Counter-Strike 2. Highly competitive players probably remember how you could use console commands to enable smoke tracers to practice smoke lineups in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

CS2 has an even better feature, where you can see precisely where a smoke grenade would land even before you release the left click to throw. You’ll also see the entire path the smoke grenade would take before it lands, disappearing a few seconds after the explosion.

Better Server Optimization

One upgrade that the community has been asking for over a decade is some improvements in the official Valve servers or at least a higher tick rate from 64. Fortunately, Valve gave us something more than that, which they’re calling the sub-tick system. Thanks to this server upgrade, we don’t even have to worry about the tick rate, and in fact, Valve’s getting rid of the tick rate system for the game servers altogether. This server upgrade was long overdue since players had been setting up custom 128-tick servers just to have a more responsive experience.

However, we won’t bore you with the technicalities. Instead, let’s talk about how it feels to play on an official Valve server now. Even if we talk about the worst end of the average player’s experience with this sub-tick system, players have reported that it feels equally responsive. On the other hand, the majority response is toward the positive side, with players claiming a night and day difference in how their bullets hit their targets more often.

Overhauled or Upgraded Maps

Let’s discuss one of the significant changes many players might have instantly noticed as they first tried CS2. As you might have already guessed, we’re talking about the maps. Valve has divided these maps into three categories, with the first one being touchstone maps, the second category being upgrades, and the third being overhauls.

The first category, touchstone maps, includes improved lighting and visual clarity. Most of these improvements are thanks to the new Source 2 game engine that replaces the aging Source engine used by CSGO. Up next, we have the upgrades, which take the most advantage of the new Source 2 engine, with massive improvements in the lighting, materials, and reflection, making each aspect look incredibly realistic. Community map makers will be pleased by that.

Finally, we have overhauls. As the name suggests, it includes maps that received a major overhaul. Older maps like Italy have been redesigned from the ground up with new pathways and locations that improve the overall experience.

UI & Settings

The next major upgrade that was added with CS2 is the improved UI and settings menu. The UI is one of the main things that make it feel like an entirely new title. It seems that the developers have designed it from the ground up as well, adding quality-of-life improvements that make a ton of difference.

Firstly, the home page and navigating everything from there felt like a breeze. Secondly, they’ve introduced an entirely new loadout system that is much more intuitive and easy to use than that from CSGO.

As for the settings, they’ve also been overhauled with a new preview feature that lets you check out the changes you’ve made without entering a map. Plus, you don’t have to click on apply for the settings to take effect.

Speaking of video settings, while the requirements of CS2 are a bit higher than CSGO’s, the overall performance is much better. The frame rate dips are now less severe, resulting in a smoother experience.

Audio and Visual Effect Upgrades

CS2 also came with a gigantic list of audio and visual effects improvements. While you might have noticed drastic changes in lighting and textures, we aren’t discussing that in this section. Let’s look at a few audio and visual effect upgrades you might have missed in CS2.

Gun Sounds

The first audio change is the new gunshot sounds. They are a bit more punchy and bassy. While the sound of all gunshots has been tweaked a little, the most prominent sound changes are with the Glock, Galil AR, and the popular AK-47. The gunshot sounds are also different now based on what part of the map you’re standing on.

The zoom sound is also new. It feels a bit more tactile in CS2 vs CSGO. Plus, the sounds of weapons dropping on the ground are quite different compared to those from CSGO. That’s also true for the bomb getting dropped.

Kill Sounds

Probably the best of all the sound improvements that have been added to CS2 is the new kill sound. Like the gunshot sounds, the kill or headshot sound is also bassy and punchy, which is much more satisfying than CSGO.


The one sound that almost all players would agree is now much better in CS2 is the sound for flashbangs. If you have played CSGO, you might remember how annoying the flashbang sounds were. The sound was so loud that it hurt players’ ears to the point that they had to remove their headphones.

Fortunately, that isn’t the case anymore. The annoying beep sound that everyone used to complain about is now reduced to the point that it doesn’t hurt anymore. Thankfully, now you won’t have to throw away your headphones every time a flashbang lands in your face.

Frag Grenades & Molotovs

Moving on to visual changes, both the frag grenades and molotovs have received substantial improvements in terms of how they look. Firstly, the explosions from grenades look much better in CS2. Back in CSGO, they were a bit bland. There wasn’t even an explosion. It was just a brief ball of cloud.

As for the molotovs, that’s probably one of the most popular graphical improvements you might have observed circling the web. As the player moves the molotov while holding it in their hands, you can see the fuel inside it moving along the motions. Plus, the fire also looks quite impressive and realistic, with hues of blue.

Feet & Shadows

Another visual change introduced with CS2 is the rendering of player characters’ feet and shadows. Remember when you looked down on the ground in CSGO, there was nothing, and your character seemed floating mid-air? Well, that’s now fixed.

When you look down in CS2, you’ll see your character’s feet, including a shadow. It adds a layer of realism to the experience. Plus, this feature also somewhat helps in stuff like performing boost maneuvers.

Muzzle Flashes

Muzzle flashes received drastic graphical improvements, enhancing the visual impact of weapon firing. The bullet tracers are also much more visible and accurate in CS2. Plus, the updated muzzle flashes and bullet tracers don’t just contribute to a more visually immersive experience. They help in recoil control.

Water Physics

The most impressive of all the visual enhancements that come jam-packed with the new Source 2 engine is the water physics. In CSGO, the water was as bland as it gets, and the physics was boring for interaction with the environment or the player character model.

In CS2, the water interacts much more realistically with the player model. You can test it yourself by jumping into any of the fountains in one of the maps in CS2, and you’ll immediately notice how good it looks.

Gameplay Changes

Let’s talk about the changes players would feel while playing CS2. There are, for sure, so many things to talk about, especially when compared to CS:GO. So, dive in with us!

Radar Sound

Sound plays a massive role in Counter-Strike. In CSGO, you could only take advantage of the sound from the enemy’s footsteps. However, CS2 has a feature that allows you to control the sound you emit. It’s called the sound radar, a circle on the mini-map that shows exactly where the sound of your footsteps reaches. In other words, you’ll know exactly when to start walking so the enemies can’t hear you come.


The movement in CS2 is also refined, which feels much more responsive. However, this might take a while for players to get used to, especially for those who like bunny hop. While it is better and smoother, it’s slightly different, which players who’ve clocked hundreds of hours will instantly pick up on.

Weapon Mechanics

As for the weapon mechanics, they are essentially the same. You won’t see CS2 becoming like Call of Duty or any other first-person shooter. However, the feel of the weapon is changed, fortunately, for the better. The spread is a bit tighter now, making it easier to land accurate shots during a spray.

Sky Box

A massive change we’ve noticed in CS2 is that there isn’t a skybox anymore. The absence of a skybox opens up possibilities for dynamic map interactions and innovative scenarios with some of the most unique and well-thought-out smoke angles.

Jump Throw

Luckily, you won’t have to spend hours mastering the jump throw or regret wasting a smoke grenade when you miscalculated and didn’t do a proper jump throw. That’s because, in CS2, the jump throw has become super easy to the point that even a beginner can master it within minutes of learning what it is.

Follow Recoil Mode

CS2 also introduced a follow recoil mode, where the crosshair moves as you spray with your weapon, indicating where the next bullet will land. This new feature is most effective for pistols since many of them stay pretty accurate even when you’re moving.

Buy Menu

Another thing you won’t have to worry about is accidentally buying the wrong weapon or spending all your currency when your team has decided on an ECO round. The Buy Menu in CS2 is completely redesigned and looks much more intuitive now. Plus, you can sell back your guns if you accidentally purchased them.

Anti Cheat

Another highly anticipated change that Valve introduced for CS2 is the brand-new anti-cheat system. It’s much better at detecting hackers, and it actually bans them in the middle of a match, ending it the very second the ban is issued to avoid having other players deal with the hacker.

Counter Strike 2: Ranked Game Modes

Finally, let’s look at how Counter-Strike 2 handled what the franchise is most known for. We’re talking about the ranked system and the ranked game modes. That’s another area where we received an upgrade, with an entirely new ranked game mode and a big change in the original ranked game mode works.


The game mode that you might be most familiar with is the Competitive mode. Fortunately, the essence is still the same. You still receive a rank based on how you perform in a match. Plus, the ranks are still the same. They start from Silver 1 to Global Elite.

The change is that there is a separate rank for each map. For example, if you only play Dust II, the rank you get will only be before that map, and you will be unranked for the rest. In other words, you can be at a different rank on different maps.


Alongside the Competitive mode, we got a brand new one called Premier. The matches for the Premier play out precisely the same as the Competitive mode. The number of rounds and all the rules are the same.

The major difference between the two modes is that, unlike the Competitive mode, players don’t get to select a map before starting a match for the premiere mode. Instead, there is a ban phase where each team gets to ban specific maps, and the remaining is the one that both teams will compete on.

Another significant difference between the two modes is that players don’t receive a traditional rank after a Premier match. Instead, they receive a score representing their skill level, which is displayed on a leaderboard within CS2 for everyone to see.


Is CS:GO better than CS2?

There is no definitive answer since the community seems to have mixed opinions. Objectively speaking, CS2 has better graphics, performance, and many other improvements. However, many players still miss the old Counter-Strike and prefer the older game over the newer one.

Is CS2 a new game or CS:GO?

While the upgrades and improvements that came with CS2 are enough to classify it as an entirely new game for the Counter-Strike series, that’s not the case. Counter-Strike 2 is essentially a massive update for CSGO, where not only did many of the game’s elements receive massive overhauls, but the game also got a brand new name.

Is CS2 heavier than CS:GO?

Currently, the file size of Counter-Strike 2 is around 35 GB, which is already more than the maximum space that the files for CSGO took up. Counter-Strike 2 also doesn’t have all the maps at the moment, which means the size might increase soon. That’s also why the recommended space for CS2 is 85 GB. In other words, CS2 is definitely heavier than CSGO.

Is CS2 shooting different from CS:GO?

As far as the general shooting mechanics are concerned, there is no difference between CSGO and CS2. Both games have the same weapon mechanics, where you have to control the recoil based on a predetermined pattern for each weapon. However, there have been some changes to the recoil, with most weapons now having a much tighter recoil pattern. But the difference is a little.

Are the skins from CS:GO transferring to CS2?

You don’t have to worry about your weapon skins going to waste. That’s because all the skins from CSGO will be transferred to your inventory for CS2. After all, CS2 is essentially CSGO. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *